By Sally Garcia, EnStarz | Jun 28, 2012 03:50 PM EDT
“Today” co-hosts Ann Curry and Matt Lauer had an awkward moment on air Thursday when she failed to react to an emotional kiss from Lauer, amid rumors that he played an important role in her exit from the show.
In a tearful goodbye, Curry announced Thursday it was her last day as co-host of the "Today" show. But as Lauer approached to give her a kiss she didn't turn her head towards him. She did hug co-hosts Al Roker and Natalie Morales
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Rumors have surfaced that when Lauer renewed his contract with NBC to remain as co-host of the show in April, he said he didn't want Curry as his co-anchor, according to TMZ.
Today's awkward kiss escalated that rumor and prompted viewers to ask if hard feelings were left between the two co-hosts.
"You could feel tension when Matt Lauer was touting Ann Curry--she turned away when he kissed her. He wanted her out and made it clear to NBC," one person wrote on Twitter Thursday.
"Bad enough that Lauer was directly responsible for her exist, but did he really need to be this phony after successfully getting rid of Curry?" one reader wrote on a board on TMZ's site.
While others called Lauer a "backstabber," some said he didn’t have anything to do with her exit.
“Even though Matt Lauer is an ‘old dude’ now, I bet it comes down to Ann not being young and ‘hot’ looking enough to grab people's attention in the morning,” one person wrote in the same board.
On Thursday's show, Lauer told Curry: "You have the biggest heart in the business," he said. "The way you care about people it comes through in every single story," he added.
While the public may never find out if Lauer played or not a role in her exit, the co-hosts notably lacked chemistry.
"Mr. Lauer and Ms. Curry notably lack the kind of on-camera rapport of Mr. Lauer with Ms. Vieira and, before her, with Ms. Couric," Brian Stelter wrote for the New York Times noting that they have been apart "almost as many mornings as they've been together."
Curry ended today one week of speculation that she was leaving the morning show amid a fierce ratings war with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
She was named the“Today” Anchor at Large and National and International Correspondent for NBC News. She will also anchor prime-time specials and report for Today, Nightly News, Rock Center, Dateline and MSNBC.
Watch the Kiss at the 4:17 mark:
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